Commercial Hotel Night Photography Albuquerque San Mateo Inn

Commercial Hotel Night Photography Albuquerque San Mateo Inn

Lightning in Commercial Hotel Photography Albuquerque

Almost one month to the day I returned to the San Mateo Inn for more commercial exterior photography, this time at night! My first shoot was all during the day with clear blue skies overhead. For this second shoot right after sunset, the clouds were rolling in and a storm was approaching. I was working as fast as I could with my new Sony a7R IV mirrorless camera. In fact this was the very first shoot I used it for! I could hear the thunder and see the lightning, and in a happy accident, during one long exposure photo of the front of the hotel, I caught a sharp bolt of lightning! I got the remaining photos I needed of the pool and front sign, and was back home safe and dry before the actual rain started. Thank you to the owner, Yvette, for braving the storm with me and watching my back as we were very close to the road to get some of these shots.

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San Mateo Inn Albuquerque Commercial Hotel Photography

San Mateo Inn Albuquerque Commercial Hotel Photography

Creative angles to best show off city hotels

Thanks to a great referral from networking friend Coralee (she sells commercial real estate), I had the opportunity to photograph the San Mateo Inn which is under new management and in the process of improving its branding and marketing, the first step was getting professional commercial photographs of the interior and exterior of the hotel. It is my custom whenever possible to start with the exteriors, because you never know when the weather may change, so if it is good, then shoot the exteriors first! After that I made my way inside to photograph the lobby and guest areas.

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Albuquerque Commercial Photographer - The View ABQ Apartments at Sunset

Albuquerque Commercial Photographer - The View ABQ Apartments at Sunset

Using the sunset for commercial photography in ABQ

On a warm weekday evening in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I took my camera and tripod to The View ABQ apartment complex to make sunset HDR real estate photos, as well interior photos. This place certainly lives up to its name and with dramatic clouds and a bright sunset, I was given ample material to photograph and deliver to the client!

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Photography Tip - Invert colors to make photos look psychedelic

I often hit Invert in Photoshop by accident because the command for resizing is close to it and as I often work very quickly in Photoshop, sometimes a very crazy looking image flashes on my screen.  However, this also means happy accidents happen too.  

I was editing this ordinary pool photo from a real estate shoot and as I was finishing it and preparing it for web size, I went to hith CMD-SHIFT-I but missed the SHIFT part and instead only hit CMD-I resulting in the below inverted color version.

Looks much cooler, right?  So if you are needing something to spice up a photo, try hitting CMD-I in Photoshop next time and you may be pleasantly surprised!

TownePlace Suites Marriott St. Petersburg Clearwater commercial pool shoot

Photographing the same subject matter in different seasons or just a significant amount of time later is a very good personal photography project to do.  It is rare to have that kind of opportunity with a commercial photography shoot, but that is just what happened when former clients TownePlace Suites Marriott Clearwater called and asked me to come make a new photograph of their outdoor swimming pool.  They had updated the furniture and needed a new photograph to highlight the changes to the pool area.  

For me it is interesting to see the differences in angles I chose in 2011 and 2012.  The tighter shot of the pool in 2012 was no doubt influenced by the client wanting to see the new furniture in the shot better.

Here is an insider photo tip for shooting pools:  do not get the entire pool in the shot, thereby leaving the exact size of the pool unknown to the viewer.  

Shore Acres Real Estate Photography St. Petersburg Florida pool home

Shore Acres Pool Home HDR Real Estate Photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 9-exposure HDR tripod mounted with cable releaseNot every real estate photography assignment in Florida is for a multi-million dollar water view home.  There are plenty of other moderately priced homes on the market that need photographs made of them too, which is why I offer flexible rates for my commercial real estate photography services.  The home featured in this blog post is in Shore Acres area of St. Petersburg.  If you like it, the listing will be with Crown Realty Group.  Tell Haike I sent you.

A new backsplash brightens things in this Shore Acres home - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 1/2 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseI do not normally include HDR images when photographing a job in this price range, but for the lead pool shot I did as a bonus as it just looked night and day different.  All the interiors were single exposures, like this one of the remodeled kitchen.  I usually shoot at below eye level for interiors, but for kitchens I prefer to shoot from at or above eye level to show all the counter level features.

Huge flatscreen TV mounted in this Shore Acres living room - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 1.6 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseWhen doing single exposure interiors, as you can see I keep window blinds closed and pointed up whenever possible.  I close them pointed up so that no bright spots are cast onto the interior itself, but rather bounced off the ceiling making the light from them useful.  I had the client move a large armchair from where I was standing so I could better photograph the living room.  

Home office full of CDs in Shore Acres Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 1 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseFor small home interior rooms, I choose to shoot in portrait orientation from the door way.  This creates the largest sense of space since floor to ceiling can be seen.  I photograph bathrooms the same way since they often are not large enough to even enter and photograph, especially with a tripod.

This pool home for sale in Shore Acres St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 1/50th tripod mounted with cable releaseFor the exterior shot, I try to include as little of the neighboring properties as possible, even if it means making a tighter shot like the one above.  I lowered my tripod enough so that the large live oak in the front yard framed the home rather than obscured the view of it.  

St. Petersburg Florida Commercial Hotel Photography Courtyard Marriott

St. Petersburg Commercial Hotel Photography - the Courtyard Marriott at dusk in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida - 7-bracket HDRMy commercial photography work for the Courtyard Marriott in downtown St. Petersburg continues with an exterior and interior shoot of the hotel itself (see commercial wedding shoot).  This job spanned mutliple days because day and evening exterior shots were desired by the client.  The HDR sunset shot of the hotel exterior at dusk was the very last shot to make.

St. Petersburg Commercial Hotel Photography - Courtyard Marriott historical lobby - 7-bracket HDRFormerly the Pennsylvania Hotel, the now Courtyard Marriott has a nearly 100-year old history.  The lobby retains the most of the original features of the hotel including the crown molding and tile flooring along with the marble wall accents. 

St. Petersburg Commercial Hotel Photography - Courtyard Marriott suite room - 7-bracket HDRNo matter how wide of a lens you have, photographing rooms, in particular hotel rooms, is still challenging as it is ideal to show as many features of the room in a single shot.  The challenge lies in the fact that not all these room features tend to line up in a neat row.  You can of course stitch multiple shots together, but then that would not look natural.  For a viewer to know this is a suite room, the bedroom and separate living space needed to be shown in the same shot.  

St. Petersburg Commercial Hotel Photography- indoor pool at Courtyard Marriott - 7-bracket HDRHere is a tip for pool photography, never show the whole pool in the shot in order to strategically leave the entire size of the pool to the viewer's imagination.  This is of course unless a hotel has an olympic size swimming pool they want to show off!

St. Petersburg Commercial Hotel Photography - office workspace at Courtyard Marriott - 7-bracket HDRAs you can see with all the above interior shots, I shot into a corner of the room which gives an image depth and dimension.  Very rarely is it best to shoot straight at a flat wall.  Shooting into a corner often naturally shows the most of an interior space anyway.